Sunday, March 28, 2010

Livingston and Brothers Building c. 1854

Views from today and "yesterday" on the corner of Miner and Fourth Streets. (311 - 313 West Miner St.)

Pictured above is the building known historically as the Livingston and Brothers Building. Research by Robert Noonan in 1976 indicates that this building was erected in 1854 or 1855. He explains in his work (Yreka's West Miner Street Buildings Blocks 200 and 300 1851-1900) that this lot and building, according to the first recorded property deed, as belonging to a H. S. Westbrook and J. B. Pierce who sold the building to Livingston and Brothers in May of 1855 for the sum of $7,000. Several different owners came and went until 1865 when the Forest House Fruit and Cider store conducted business in one half of the building, sharing the space with the California/Oregon Stage Company.

Following the fruit and cider store a Mr. A. E. Raynes and Postmaster C. H. Pyle operated both a bookstore and the Post Office at this location during the years from 1866 to 1898. Around 1920 a dry goods store began business here that is still remembered, Pollock's store operated until about 1955, or 35 years in this building. In the older image above if you look carefully at the store in the corner you will see the name Pollock's boldly displayed on the front of the building above the striped awning. Following Pollock's Store a specialty shop called Tic Tok's Clock Shop operated here and then for a number of years the building was home to a fine stationery store at this corner location, Tyrer's Stationery and Books. Over the years there have been other business establishments located here and they have come and gone, but the ones listed are the ones who have made their mark and are recalled in our history.

On the side of this building in the back section a fine clock shop is currently in operation known today as "Dave's Clocks". It is perhaps interesting to note that in the 1950s the same back area was home to another clock shop known as the "Tick Tock Shop". I personally recall going by the window of the clock shop and looked at the intricate movements of the clocks displayed as a child, it is fun to once again walk by the same window and see similar displays.

In 2010 the main portion of the building along Miner Street was home to Edward Jones Investments.

Information on the history of this building has been ascertained from Robert Noonan's fine research (Yreka's West Miner Street Buildings Blocks 200 and 300 1851-1900), from information scribed on a plaque provided by the Siskiyou County Museum, and from personal memories.

Copyright 2010, Claudia A. East

Monday, March 15, 2010

Montgomery Wards Building

Early view of the Montgomery Wards Building at 201 South Broadway, (formerly Second Street) Yreka, Ca

On June 7, 1929 a news article appeared in the Siskiyou Times explaining that the new "Ward Structure" was now underway as ground breaking was imminent. Local capitalist, Victor Warren was financing the building, he also constructed the large "Warren's Building" located adjacent to the Wards Building, and his sister built the Broadway Theatre as seen in the above photo as well.

The building was under the supervision of a J. P. Brennan, a Redding builder who won the contract for the job. The article explained that the building would be located on the corner of Second and Center Streets and would have an investment of approximately $50,000 ~ no small change for 1929! Further explanation of the structure said it would be one story in height with a mezzanine and have a frontage of 101 feet on Second Street and 102 feet on Center. All together the building was to provide 17,000 feet of floor space. The building completion was set for August 1, 1929. The news article further explained that to fill the store with stock it would take between 10 to 12 train carloads of merchandise! It was also anticipated that the new store would employ from 20 to 30 persons and they would be local hires with the exception of the chief executives.

Because this building project was given only 2 months to complete some "fancy footwork" had to be completed. The first was to seek a new place for the Chautauqua tent that currently occupied the spot and find a place for their next performances. The tent was subsequently removed and according to the news, the next performance was given in the Agricultural Hall which would have been right behind this lot.

Montgomery Wards came and went but served Yreka for many years, the building also served as a Rasco's during the late 1970s and early 1980s and currently serves as offices for Choices for Children and the Broadway New to You Thrift store that helps fund the Choices for Children programs. Around 2003-4 the building had some interior renovations when the Choices for Children's Program moved into the building.

For those of you who have our Yreka, Images of America book you will find other images of this store on pages 44, and 43.

Copyright: Claudia A. East